Child Among 4 Shot Dead in Suspected Murder-Suicide in Queens
QUEENS, NY — August 1, 2018
Four people, among them a young child, were fatally shot at a Queens home on Monday, law enforcement sources said.
The bodies were found inside an apartment in a four-story building at 23-07 30th Drive in Astoria at around 9 p.m., according to the sources. Dozens of NYPD officers convened at the scene half an hour later. The gunfire erupted around 8:30 p.m. local time in a multicultural neighborhood, Astoria.
"Still an active scene hours later on 30th Drive in #Astoria where the bodies of 4 ppl, incl a 5 yr old boy were found shot and killed—one may have had throat slashed. Possibly triple murder-suicide. #NYPD also trying to determine relationship of victims," tweeted freelance reporter Samantha Liebman.
According to the police officers, the incident appears to be a murder-suicide and that a gun was recovered at the scene.
"We don't lean either way, but that is that something, certainly, we will look to," he said.
Along with the 5-year-old boy, two women and a man were found dead in a first-floor apartment. The throat of one of the victims had been slashed, according to New York Police Department Chief of Detectives Dermot Shea. The identities of the victims were still being determined.
“For a child to be hurt this way, this is a little sad, you don’t expect this,” said neighbor Ellie Alvarado. “It’s heartbreaking because I’m a mom of my own.”
It's not clear whether the victims were related. Shea cautioned that the investigation is in its early stages.
The investigators are interviewing the person who dialed 911 and examining data to determine whether police had received any relevant calls in the past from not only the apartment but the nearby area.
The police were called to the scene after a cleaning woman allegedly walked into the apartment and discovered the carnage.
“Upon entering that location, they observed, in quick time, four individuals that were apparently the victims of gunshot wounds,” Shea said at an impromptu press conference Monday night.
Shea said cops had a tentative identification on the man but his name was being withheld.
One neighbor described the victim as a jovial man.
“He was the happiest person I’ve ever seen,” Steven Levine said.
The witnesses also said that the killer was allegedly a physical therapist who recently had been dealing with financial and family problems.
Despite that clue, it is unclear which victim had shot the others before committing suicide.
"We don't want to leave any stone unturned," Shea said. "There are calls that we believe are going to be related to that building, but it's a little preliminary."
The investigation is ongoing.